I don’t necessarily want to get off the math track (sorry, tracking is a bad word) here, but an article in the NY Times on Monday makes me wonder what we are missing on the other side of the three R’s (writing and reading).
The article talks about the changes made to the scoring of the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test when the scores plummeted from last year. Only 27% of fourth graders were proficient, down from 81% the previous year. According to the article “The numbers fell so drastically because, as announced last summer, state officials toughened the standards, paying more attention to grammar and spelling as well as to the factual accuracy of supporting details.”
I may be old fashioned, but isn’t “paying attention” another phrase for actually grading the test properly? How can you judge proficiency when you are discounting grammar and spelling, as appears was done under the old standards?
The rest of the article is interesting, especially the solution to the reduced number if students reaching proficiency.